It’s been both a good and bad news week for Droid owners.

The Good News

The coveted Android 2.1 update has finally officially arrived to the device.

Android 2.1 was first available only on the Nexus One, a move that Google took some flack for. They were instrumental in pushing the Droid, and shortly after its release late last year, Google announced their first Google branded Android device, with features that other Android owners wouldn’t see on their phones for quite some time.

The Droid is the first major phone other than the Nexus One to receive an official update to 2.1, though it’s been available through unofficial channels for both this phone and others (even the G1 has a 2.1 update available) for quite some time.

Android 2.1 brought many long awaited features to the phone, including:

  • pinch to zoom (aka multitouch) to the Browser, Maps, and Gallery
  • Google Maps update
  • speech-to-text in all text entry boxes
  • a new 3D gallery
  • live wallpapers
  • new widgets
  • updated application launcher

Good news didn't stop there - because Verizon had a very slow rollout schedule, users who did not want to wait in line for their 2.1 had an option of updating their phones using a simple "hack" that we documented here.

The Bad News?

The update to 2.1 on the Droid specifically seems to have a side effect that may make Droid gamers a bit unhappy.

Apparently, the 2D performance of the phone has been dramatically hampered – to the point that many noticed serious impacts on gameplay.

ZDNet’s Ed Burnette reports that he has noticed the problem while playing PapiJump and PongMultitouch, and he is not the only one – a quick Google search for “android 2.1 droid "2d slowdown"” currently brings up 2,290 results.

Here is a YouTube video clearly illustrating the problem and comparing 2 Droids - 2.0.1 and 2.1:

We will be sure to post updates as this issue progresses.